Beaded Blessings, a collection of more than 4,000 beaded prayer packets, will be exhibited November 10 through December 5 in the lobby of the Silver Cultural Arts Center (SCAC) at Plymouth State University.
To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, a reception will be held from 4-6 p.m. November 10. An artist’s talk featuring Sonya Clark, the project’s organizer, will be held at 4 p.m. November 15 in the SCAC lobby.
Beaded Blessings is the traveling exhibit of the Beaded Prayers Project, which was founded by Clark in 1999. Each beaded prayer packet has a written wish or dream sewn inside a cloth casing. The prayer packets were created by more than 4,500 individuals globally, ages 6 to 90, and when put together create a quilt-like effect.
“Beaded Blessings brings an important community art project to the PSU campus. In the same way that thousands of Americans have voiced their feelings through the AIDS Quilt project, participants in the Beaded Blessings have been able to express their hopes, fears and desires in tiny beaded bundles. The amulets created thus far attest to the power of community and the strength we all find in sharing. The project comes from Sonya Clark’s long interest in African culture, especially Yoruban traditions, and art as a healing force,” says Dr. Catherine Amidon, director of the Karl Drerup Art Gallery.
The concept stems from the African tradition of filling amulets with sacred writings. The idea has a multicultural appeal, as physical tokens of hope can be found in many religions and backgrounds. The exhibit has reached countries outside of the United States, including Ghana, Scotland, India, Canada, and Australia.
SCAC hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and during performances. For more information, contact the Karl Drerup Art Gallery and Exhibitions Program (603) 535-2614.